Pune driver gets death sentence for killing people

The bus driver who had mowed down nine persons and injured 30 on the crowded streets of Pune in January 2012 was awarded the death sentence by a local court here on Monday.

The court had last week convicted Santosh Maruti Mane (41) on several counts including murder and attempt to murder.

Additional sessions judge VK Shewale, who gave Mane capital punishment, said this case came under the "rarest of the rare" category.

"Considering the intensity of the act committed by Mane, he deserves capital punishment," said Shewale while pronouncing the sentence, adding, "politicians are there to commute your sentence".

The court turned down the defence plea that Mane was suffering from insanity. "There is no such evidence that the accused was suffering from an attack of insanity," the judge said.

Mane did not react when the judgment was pronounced.

"As per procedure, we will challenge the sentence in the high court," said Dhananjay Mane, defence lawyer.

On January 25 at around 8 am Mane had hijacked the bus from a depot. As soon as he drove out of the depot, he swiftly swerved to the wrong side of a road and ploughed into moving vehicles.

The hour-long mayhem ended when a college student managed to hop into the bus and restrain Mane.

In his statement to the police after his arrest, Mane had said, "I don't remember anything."


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